UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Informing the research agenda for optimizing audit and feedback interventions: results of a prioritization exercise Colquhoun, Heather L; Carroll, Kelly; Eva, Kevin W.; Grimshaw, Jeremy M.; Ivers, Noah; Michie, Susan; Brehaut, Jamie C.


Background: Audit and feedback (A&F) interventions are one of the most common approaches for implementing evidence-based practices. A key barrier to more effective A&F interventions is the lack of a theory-guided approach to the accumulation of evidence. Recent interviews with theory experts identified 313 theory-informed hypotheses, spread across 30 themes, about how to create more effective A&F interventions. In the current survey, we sought to elicit from stakeholders which hypotheses were most likely to advance the field if studied further. Methods: From the list of 313, three members of the research team identified 216 that were clear and distinguishable enough for prioritization. A web-based survey was then sent to 211 A&F intervention stakeholders asking them to choose up to 50 ‘priority’ hypotheses following the header “A&F interventions will be more effective if…”. Analyses included frequencies of endorsement of the individual hypotheses and themes into which they were grouped. Results: 68 of the 211 invited participants responded to the survey. Seven hypotheses were chosen by > 50% of respondents, including A&F interventions will be more effective… “if feedback is provided by a trusted source”; “if recipients are involved in the design/development of the feedback intervention”; “if recommendations related to the feedback are based on good quality evidence”; “if the behaviour is under the control of the recipient”; “if it addresses barriers and facilitators (drivers) to behaviour change”; “if it suggests clear action plans”; and “if target/goal/optimal rates are clear and explicit”. The most endorsed theme was Recipient Priorities (four hypotheses were chosen 92 times as a ‘priority’ hypotheses). Conclusions: This work determined a set of hypotheses thought by respondents to be to be most likely to advance the field through future A&F intervention research. This work can inform a coordinated research agenda that may more efficiently lead to more effective A&F interventions.

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